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This Week in Dystopia: The Promise & Perils of Democracy is a new podcast hosted by Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer. A podcast of politics, theory, and pop culture, This Week in Dystopia, brings commentary from the halls of Harvard to everyone's headphones. In each episode, Robichaud, Harvard faculty, and other guests discuss core challenges to U.S. democracy without the constant hair pulling and complaining that colors most discussions about the state of our democracy today.

This Week in Dystopia: The Promise & Perils of Democracy is a new podcast hosted by Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer. A podcast of politics, theory, and pop culture, This Week in Dystopia, brings commentary from the halls of Harvard to everyone's headphones. In each episode, Robichaud, Harvard faculty, and other guests discuss core challenges to U.S. democracy without the constant hair pulling and complaining that colors most discussions about the state of our democracy today.
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United States

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This Week in Dystopia: The Promise & Perils of Democracy is a new podcast hosted by Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer. A podcast of politics, theory, and pop culture, This Week in Dystopia, brings commentary from the halls of Harvard to everyone's headphones. In each episode, Robichaud, Harvard faculty, and other guests discuss core challenges to U.S. democracy without the constant hair pulling and complaining that colors most discussions about the state of our democracy today.

Language:

English


Episodes

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'

5/21/2019
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When Beyoncé gives you Lemonade, make a reader (and a podcast episode). We close out season 2 of This Week in Dystopia with a discussion of Beyonce's audio-visual experience and album. Host Chris Robichaud is joined by The Lemonade Reader co-authors Kinitra Brooks, Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies in the Department of English at Michigan State University, and Kameelah Martin, Professor of African American Studies and English at the College of Charleston in South...

Duration:00:22:32

Game Theory

5/14/2019
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Despite the persistent threat of video game domination, board games are still here and gaining popularity. And people aren't just dusting off their boxes of Monopoly and Life. New games are pushing the boundaries of how fun, engagement, and empathy intersect. Host Chris Robichaud talks to Co-Founders of Magpie Games Mark Truman and Marissa Kelly about how the game industry is changing and what we can expect out of the next-generation of tabletop games. Questions around how social justice...

Duration:00:22:29

Hail Satan?

4/25/2019
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The devil may be in the details, but Satan also has a home in Salem Massachusetts, the headquarters of the Satanic Temple. The Temple, both self-described and now labeled by the IRS as a religious organization, is growing in popularity. The recent premiere of Hail Satan? at the Sundance Film Festival propelled the religious organization even more into the spotlight. Host Chris Robichaud sits down with Lucien Greaves, Cofounder of The Satanic Temple, to talk about the Temple's mission and...

Duration:00:25:40

Game of Thrones

4/17/2019
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Winter is here. Sunday, April 14th, 17.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the battle for the Iron Throne continue when the final season of Game of Thrones premiered. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University, joins host Chris Robichaud to talk about how the power struggle at the heart of this extremely popular show relates to governance. 🚨 This episode does NOT contain any season 8, episode 1 spoilers. However, we do briefly discuss some important scenes from earlier...

Duration:00:22:52

America's Pastime

4/11/2019
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Baseball has long been called America's pastime, but some feel the pastime is just that, past. Do conversations happening in and around the NFL and NBA better reflect America today? Or is the game of baseball just too long for the 21st-century sports fan? This week, we sit down with Liz Bloom, current Harvard MBA/MPP and former Pittsburgh Pirates beat reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to talk about how baseball has historically been a petri dish for society's issues and where the...

Duration:00:16:54

Us

4/2/2019
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🚨 SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't already seen Us, listen at the peril of your movie-going experience. Better yet, go see the film and come right back to this episode! Jordan Peele may fear his doppelgänger, but he isn't afraid of melding horror with social commentary. This week, Kinitra Brooks, Hutchins Fellow at Harvard University and co-editor of the forthcoming volume, The Lemonade Reader (yes, that Lemonade!), joins host Chris Robichaud to discuss the Peele's newest thriller Us. Want...

Duration:00:33:24

Social Justice, Stage Right

3/26/2019
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The theatre has influenced political thought since at least the days of the Athenian Democracy. Today, the tradition of theatre as a medium to spark political debate is alive and well. Now, contemporary artists are more than ever contemplating how the theatre can not only convey their thoughts but truly reflect and engage the lived experiences of their communities. This week, host Chris Robichaud sat down with two artists who actively straddle the worlds of theatre and social justice. Ilana...

Duration:00:21:51

Fit Nation

3/19/2019
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From the moment your alarm goes off until your head hits the pillow at night, fitness is in your face. During the day, most of us will either go to the gym, think about working out, get a reminder from our fitness tracker, walk by a fitness studio, or feel bad for not getting any exercise at all. Fitness is not only a large part of our day, but it's a part of our cultural identity and pop culture. This week Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Associate Professor of History at The New School, joins...

Duration:00:28:57

Captain Marvel

3/13/2019
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🚨 SPOILER ALERT: Host Chris Robichaud has already seen this movie (twice!) and the episode contains spoilers. If you haven't already seen Captain Marvel, listen at the peril of your movie-going experience. Julian Chambliss, English Professor at Michigan State University and comic book aficionado, joins host Chris Robichaud to discuss Captain Marvel. They discuss both what Carol Danvers portends for the Avengers storyline as well as what her cultural significance is as the leading female...

Duration:00:30:03

Politics & the Playbook

3/5/2019
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In episode 20, we asked, can you keep politics out of football? The answer was a resounding no. Not only are politics a part of contemporary sports culture, but politics is woven throughout sports and entertainment history. Host Chris Robichaud sits down with Justin Tinsley, a writer at ESPN's Undefeated, to talk about social activism in sports and pop culture. The conversation touches on everything from Jackie Robinson to Sammy Davis Jr., Travis Scott, and sneaker culture. Want more This...

Duration:00:38:03

Horror Noire

2/26/2019
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This week, host Chris Robichaud sits down with author, scholar, and executive producer Tananarive Due to talk about the complicated relationship Black filmmakers and Black audiences have with horror. Mentioned in the show Horror Noire Get Out The Sunken Place My Soul to Keep (African Immortals series) This episode was FULL on mentions, find them all on our Medium page. Want more This Week in Dystopia? Don't forget to subscribe, follow This Week in Dystopia on Twitter:...

Duration:00:30:59

This is America

2/19/2019
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The Grammys have been criticized for lacking diversity and not giving hip-hop artists their due. This year, Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, took home both song and record of the year awards. This is America, Glover's chart-topping song best known for its music video, has something to say about the state of the U.S. from gun violence to race. We sat down with Chris Lebron, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins, to talk about the significance of Glover's Grammy win...

Duration:00:30:16

Pop Culture and Politics? No Apologies

2/12/2019
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Are comic books just for kids? Is there more to pop culture then pure entertainment? I think you know our answer. Tune in to hear host Chris Robichaud discuss why This Week in Dystopia is focusing on pop culture and politics this season and how we'll prove that comic books aren't just for kids. Mentioned in the show Bill Maher's comments on comic books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgInmHHO0m4 Maher's blog on the topic:...

Duration:00:14:53

The NFL, Politics, and Patriots

2/1/2019
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In advance of Super Bowl LIII, tune in to hear host Christopher Robichaud in conversation with Mark Leibovich, Chief National correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, author of Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times, and Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Want more This Week in Dystopia? Don't forget to subscribe, follow This Week in Dystopia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeekinDystopia and like the show on Facebook:...

Duration:01:04:59

The Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

3/27/2018
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On Tuesday, March 20th, the Institute of Politics hosted a conversation with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School titled, “#NEVERAGAIN: How Parkland Students are Changing the Conversation on Guns.” This week, we listen in to the discussion to reflect on both the power of young advocates in our democracy and the deep impact of gun violence, particularly in schools. Want more This Week in Dystopia? Don't forget to subscribe, follow This Week in Dystopia on Twitter:...

Duration:01:10:12

Gun Rights & Democracy?

3/13/2018
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Gun rights have dominated headlines the past two weeks. This isn’t the first time that debate around gun control has erupted following a mass shooting, but momentum and teenage advocacy have some people believing that this time the conversation won’t fade. With strong advocates arguing both sides of the issue, it can be difficult to deeply reflect on the role of guns and self-defense in a modern democracy. This week, host Chris Robichaud is joined by Caroline Light, Harvard Senior Lecturer...

Duration:00:32:58

The Conversation No One Wants to Have About Inequality

3/6/2018
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New ways of governing, policy, protests, and more have been introduced across the globe for centuries to try and curb inequality. So, what actually worked? According to Walter Scheidel, author of "The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century," history reports that violence and catastrophe are the only proven effective interventions. On February 26th, Walter Scheidel, Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and...

Duration:00:48:39

Black Panther

2/28/2018
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Do we need to say more than Black Panther? Okay, maybe. Black Panther, the latest film in the Marvel universe, has been met with such excitement it’s hard to imagine a world (or at least social media) without Wakanda. Released on February 16th, the film has since shattered records. Black Panther is the second-fastest movie to reach $400 million, it had the second-best sophomore weekend ever, and it’s on track to top a billion dollars in box office sales. Though the comic books have existed...

Duration:00:41:19

Idiocracy LIVE feat. Co-Screenwriter Etan Cohen

2/13/2018
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Idiocracy, an over a decade-old movie, is set in a world where corporations have taken over, the population’s IQ has declined dramatically, and the president is a reality TV star. Now a cult-classic, people on both side of the aisle are starting to wonder did this 2006 comedy predict the future? Before you go any further, we recommend you watch the film. It’ll make this podcast way more interesting. Thursday, February 8th, the film’s co-screenwriter Etan Cohen joined Christopher Robichaud...

Duration:00:22:30

Defending Democracy, 2018 & Beyond feat. Robby Mook

2/7/2018
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Political parties and campaigns are a critical part of American democracy. Our parties are complicated, multi-faceted, and at times, downright confounding. To better understand some of the promise and perils of political parties and campaigns, This Week in Dystopia is joined by someone who knows the Democratic party and process of campaigning intimately. Host Chris Robichaud invites former Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook, now a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and CNN...

Duration:00:35:17